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CHAP. LVIII                GHAZAN KHAN                        18 9
His First Syrian Campaign, A.H. 699 (1299).—After
successfully putting down these rebellions, which the
fate of recent Il-Khans had encouraged, Ghazan took
advantage of the weakness of the Mameluke empire, which
was suffering from internal troubles, and invaded Syria.
He crossed the Euphrates with an army ninety thousand
strong and moved on Aleppo ; instead of besieging it,
however, he marched to meet the Egyptian army. The
decisive battle was fought at Hims, where formerly the
Mongol arms had met with disaster. On this occasion
the centre under Ghazan was nearly broken by the charge
of the heavily 6 armed Mamelukes, but the Il-Khan dis-
mounted his men, who used their horses as a rampart
from behind which they kept up a heavy fire of arrows.
These tactics threw the Mamelukes into disorder owing
to the numbers of their horses that were killed, and when
the Mongol wings had repulsed the Egyptians by the
same device, a general advance, headed by the deadly
archers on foot, completed the victory.
The change that Islam had made in the customs of
the Mongols is clearly seen by Ghazan's treatment of
Damascus. He received the submission of the city and
issued a proclamation with many quotations from the
Koran, to the effect that he had come to deliver Syria
from a reprobate monarch and that no harm would be
done to any one. Moreover, he kept the soldiery out of
the city and did not even allow the gardens for which the
place is famous to be damaged. Nevertheless, in spite of
Ghazan's humane intentions, Damascus did not escape
severe suffering, owing mainly to the hatred of the
Il-Khan's Armenian allies and the difficulty of restraining
troops accustomed to plunder. After remaining until
the contribution fixed by him had been fully paid, Ghazan
marched back across the Euphrates, leaving a force to
hold his conquests ; but on the organization of a fresh
army at Cairo the Mongols retreated,.and Syria reverted
to its Egyptian masters.
The Raiding of Southern Persia from Transoxiana.—
During the absence of Ghazan in Syria, Kutlugh Shah,
the Chagatay Prince of Transoxiana, sent a force of ten